There is a lot of activity in Buenos Aires with various festivals this time of year. There was the Misterio Tango Festival few weeks back, the Yeite Tango Festival last week (which unfortunately, due to my cold I missed out on the whole festival), and currently the CITA Tango Festival. These festivals have a big line up of masters teaching and performing which usually calls a lot of attention bringing visitors from other countries. The milongas here have been pretty packed this past month or so with these dancers.
The CITA festival is produced by Fabian Salas and this could be one of the longest running Tango festivals that Buenos Aires has. It is the 16th year this year. Back in the days before “youtube”, we would await for the CITA DVDs to come out on sale each year so we could study and learn from them. We would have CITA DVD viewing parties at someone’s house to practice some of the moves we would find. Times have changed!!
I decided to see the CITA “Theater” show. This theater show used to be the main thing back then, featured in the DVD. It was the first time I would be seeing the show in person. The show was a little over 2 hours with intermission. Not all the CITA masters are in the theater show, some perform only in the milongas. If you were to purchase the ticket a la carte, it’s quite pricey… I wouldn’t say it’s a fair price because the show has hardly any stage productions. You could see Cirque du Soleil paying the same price with all their stage, costume, make-up and lighting production. Nonetheless, it was interesting to watch the variety of different style dancers that presented. The honest truth is that Stage Tango requires certain training, and most of the dancers teaching in the festival tend to be more performers of the Milonga floor, and teachers of social Tango dancing. They are amazing performers on the Milonga floor but it could be tricky on stage; stage presence, use of space in the choreography, consciousness of the front/audience when executing moves and sequences, lines, expression, costume/make-up and etceteras. It gave me food for thought. Personally, I would like to get more training in Stage so I will have better understanding of things like this.
After the show, we rushed over to Porteno y Bailarin Milonga. Leo and I were performing to Sexteto Milonguero live. It was my birthday and the organizer of the milonga, Carlos Stasi, the night before had offered us to perform with them. It was a last minute performance, and of course, completely improvised. Sexteto Milonguero is one of the best traditional orchestras currently in Buenos Aires. What an honor performing to them!
Our next performance will be this coming Monday at Gricel!